Fred's mushy success story

Last Updated 24 June 2014, 17:28 IST

Brazil striker Fred got his first goal just in the whisker of time at the World Cup, scoring as the group stage was coming to an end.

He’s attributing the change in fortunes to the new moustache.

The much-criticised forward scored Brazil’s third goal in a 4-1 win over Cameroon on Tuesday, helping his team reach the second round.

Fred found the net with a 49th-minute header after a left-flank cross by defender David Luiz. But the striker said there was more to it.

“As incredible as it seems, the ball came in hard and it ended up hitting my moustache,” Fred said. “It was a moustache goal.”

Team-mate Neymar said he was the one who told Fred not to shave his upper lip, predicting it might turn things in his favour.

“I said, ‘Come on, Fred, if you leave the moustache you are going to score, the moustache never fails,’” Neymar later explained. “After he scored I went to him and I said, ‘See, I told you that it never fails.’” 

Fans and local media had been loudly criticising the Fluminense striker because of his poor performances at the World Cup. “Thank God that ball went in,” Fred said. “The critics were piling a heavy load on me. I just tried to stay calm. The squad was great with me, I need to thank everyone.”

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said the goal will help Fred play better the rest of the tournament.

“We knew that Fred was anxious because he hadn’t scored yet,” he said.

It wasn’t the first World Cup goal for the 30-year-old Fred, who had scored as a youngster when he was in the squad in the 2006 tournament in Germany.

(Published 24 June 2014, 17:28 IST)

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